The Best and Worst States to Raise a Family Are...

The top spot is also the least populated state in the US.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Apr 2019

Everything changes when you become a parent. Your free-spirit mentality is overshadowed by your will to give baby the best life possible. And for many, that starts with where your family plans to settle down. Need a little help? You may want to do some research on Wyoming. Despite having the smallest population in the US, the state is the best spot for families to live, according to a recent Policygenius analysis. And where’s the worst state to reside? Survey says Washington, DC (even though it’s technically not a state).

Wyoming is the unsung hero of the US. In a previous best/worst ranking, the state received a lukewarm reception, where it held on to the No. 33 spot. But the Policygenius survey highlights some factors that were perhaps overlooked. The agency looked into 10 different figures, including:

  • Number of families
  • Families living in poverty
  • Cost of child care
  • Cost of college
  • Divorce rate
  • Infant mortality rate
  • Violent crime per capita
  • Household income
  • Average fourth grade test score
  • Households putting 30 percent or more of their income into housing

The numbers were combined and each state was then ranked out of 100. A higher score essentially means there’s more financial security. Wyoming had low college costs ($5,400), child care costs ($10,394) and violence crime per capita (238 per 100,000 people).

Washington, DC, on the other hand, didn’t quite measure up to those numbers. This was due largely in part to its high child care costs ($23,666), family poverty rate (39 percent) and violence crime per capita (1,005 per 100,000 people). It’s quite a fall from the graces, where a previous survey named it one of the the top 10 best places to live, clutching the No. 9 spot.

Here are the 10 best places to raise a family:

  1. Wyoming
  2. Utah
  3. Idaho
  4. North Dakota
  5. Nebraska
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Minnesota
  8. Washington
  9. Hawaii
  10. Alaska

Here are the 10 worst places to raise a family:

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Louisiana
  3. New Mexico
  4. South Carolina
  5. Michigan
  6. Alabama
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Tennessee
  9. Arkansas
  10. Pennsylvania

Click here to see a breakdown of the full results and find out where your state falls. Don’t go into panic mode if your state is on the bottom half of the list. For the most part, the survey highlights different expenses involved with raising a child. The biggest takeaway? Learning how to secure your family’s financial future is key. Don’t worry, we have some tips on how to raise kids and still manage to save for retirement.

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